This is a pretty exciting 6 months! Gone are the days when you can pop your baby on the floor and know they will still be there when you come back. Sitting, crawling, standing, walking, banging, posting, pulling, splashing, throwing – these are all emerging skills to be practiced, sometimes at 3am in the morning (much to our dismay). The same principles apply as 0-6 months
Longevity: Will it grow with your baby? Will it stand up to little Hercules hurling it from the highchair 345 times?
Developmentally appropriate: Will it provide the right type of stimulation at the right time to help your baby learn and grow?
Likeable: Will the toy be a firm favourite that provides hours of entertainment? Will Mum and Dad be trying to pry the batteries out by Day 2?
Babies on the move need something to chase. Toys that move and roll away from your baby will encourage floor mobility, weight shift, visual tracking and moving in and out of sitting. Transitions (moving between positions) are an important skill at this age, and toys that provide incentive to move are great tools.
Basic cause and effect toys. When I push something, it lights up. When I throw this, it ends up on the floor. When I bang this, it makes a noise. Basic cause and effect toys include simple musical instruments, toys that light up or play noise when a button is pressed, objects that can be bashed together, things that can be open and shut.
Lamaze Chime Garden; Playmaker Egg Shakers; Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Learning Home
Basic stacking and posting toys. These are a great example of toys with longevity. Initially these toys will be chewed on, dropped from heights, and banged on tables. As exploration increases in complexity, your baby may become more interested in placing them IN and OUT of a container, or UNDER and ON TOP a table or blanket. As coordination and cognition advances, your baby will progress to stacking, posting and sorting.
Activity cubes and tables will motivate your baby to pull to stand, work on weight shift and cruising, and build up standing endurance. Good activity tables and cubes can also be used in sitting to work on reaching, balance and rotation. Many incorporate cause and effect, posting and fine motor activities – a pretty awesome all round toy!
Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Rollin' Activity Table; 6 in 1 Activity Cube and Walker
Push and pull toys. Push toys are great for babies beginning to learn to walk – they provide stability while still allowing a baby to work on their own balance reactions and build independence.Pull toys can initially be used in sitting and crawling, before being using when walking.Push and pull toys are wonderful for any beginner walker.
Fisher Price Learn with Me Zebra Walker; Plan Toys Dancing Alligator
This is a great age to build books into your daily routine before naps or bedtime.Look for books with bright engaging pictures, familiar objects and stories, and sensory elements (pop ups, different textures).Board books are great at this age as they will stand up to rough little hands, allowing your child to work on turning the pages and “reading” on their own.